De: "leopold pander" <pander.nl@skynet.be>

: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Church, inside ---

Date: Saturday, June 14, 2003 10:29

 

Hello everyboby,

 

Church, inside :

 

This sketch from Father Schmid makes something nice come back to my mind. A story our Mother often told us about ---

 

It must have been in the afternoon of December 24th 1944, after more than a year imprisonment in Weihsien camp that her husband suggested that it would be a good idea to go to the Christmas eve celebration, that very night.

She would have gone anyway, but she went. The church was crowded --- certainly as crowded as shown on Father Schmid's sketch --- and the X'mas ceremony began, --- and, --- all of a sudden, a voice from somewhere, started singing the "Ave Maria" in solo. All were listening --- and our Mom recognised our Dad's voice. She had tears in her eyes and was very proud of her husband.

Our Dad, when he was much younger (he was 47 at the time), loved the opera and went to listen whenever he could. Especially when he was in Paris, or London. When he came to China and when he could afford it, singing became a hobby (a passion) and he took singing lessons. He did so well that, one day, his teacher asked him to sing in public for a recital he was organising for a few friends. Our Dad refused. He said that a bank manager could not afford to make a fool of himself in public.

The story doesn't say who lost face but that was the end of the singing lessons.

So, you see, hearing to my Dad's voice, singing the "Ave Maria" that December 25th 1944 was a unique privilege you had.

Does someone remember that?

My Dad is long time gone now and I would like to tell you that I never, never heard him sing. Not even once.

Leopold.